RightHandDrive.ca/blog Canadian Right Hand Drive News and Thoughts


Quebec perminently bans Right Hand Drives

It's happened.

It's official.

The moratorium on right hand drives in Quebec has become permanent.

The post is here, or if you speak French.

This is clearly a blow to the Canadian right hand drive society.  Current owners are grandfathered yet again, but no new cars will be allowed to be registered.

All we can do now is petition the Quebec government to overturn it, or Canadian government to overrule it.


edit: updated links

Tagged as: , , , 1 Comment

Hilarious Hijet Ad and Thoughts

I found this ad, and have to share.  For those of us that have 'highly functional vehicles' this is very very funny.

This is also funny since this ad is apparently from 1996. If anyone from the UK sees this they'll think it's old hat. For those of us that are just discovering this market, it's new, fresh and different.

I've been thinking about that for the entire site.  All (well, most) RHDs in Canada are at least 15 years old. People from RHD countries must think we're crazy for getting excited about these old cars. But again, these cars are new to our country and have lots of personality.

Funny story.  I ran into a Japanese acquaintance and showed them photos of my truck, thinking that they'd be excited and think it's funny.  To my surprise they thought it was stupid, and asked me why "I'd by a dumb old truck like that."  After my feelings were less hurt I thought about it, and they're right. It is old and dumb... to them. In Japan, my truck would not likely be someone's daily driver, but a work truck. Here it's a novelty and fun.

At any rate, if you've got a right hand drive here in Canada, be proud! Even though it's 15 years old.  Call it a fine wine; better with age.



Why do people buy Right hand drive cars?

There's no one answer to this question. I'll toss out my opinion on the matter and feel free to agree or disagree with me.

1. It was never sold in Canada.  There a bunch of vehicles that fall under this category, and I'd say a large part of the Canadian right hand drive community falls under this category. Kei trucks and Kei cars, Skylines were only RHD until this last batch and other sports cars from Japan were never made in LHD format.  There are a bunch of hot hatches under this category too, like the Nissan Pulsar GTiR... which is really neat.

People who travel will sometimes see these vehicles and fall in love with them, and bring them back. Other see them on TV, movie or the fanstastical internet and fall in love. Whatever the case is, they don't come any other way and people want to have them.

There is also the case that a certain model of the vehicle was never released in Canada.  Canada has the Toyota 4Runner, the RHD equivalent is the Hilux Surf.  But, the Hilux Surf is available in diesel, which is super cool. Personally, I'm scoping out a turbo diesel Hilux Surf because I'd like an SUV, but I don't want crappy gas mileage, so it'd be a good fit for me!

2. Low Mileage. You don't get this with cars in Canada.  We have too much highway.  Vehicles imported from Japan have hilariously low mileage and are in great shape for their age. It's expensive to drive in Japan, and the public transportation is very good, so cars live good lives.  Oh. And no salt on the roads.

Daihatsu Midget II

A Daihatsu Midget II

3.To be different. I don't have to explain this one. Here's a Daihatsu Midget for your viewing pleasure, and my point and case. Image source.

4. Prestige. There are some cars that are available in both right hand drive and left hand drive, but people still want the right hand drive versions.  Cars I've seen like this include MR-2s, Supras, Camrys, RX-7s, 240sx/180sx, and Land Rovers. People in the category can fall partially into 'wanted something different', and that's fine. Even others say that they're 'more legitimate', which is true for both British and Japanese cars if you want to look at it that way.

In the case of late model RX-7s, there's very few around and it can sometimes be easier to find them in RHDs, so you've got prestige and availability. So, why not right? This can even fall under the 'not available here' if you manage to find a 3 rotor, but good luck finding parts for a rotary motor, no less a 3 rotor! The uniqueness has it's ups and downs. Like I've said a thousand times, "Don't be stupid" and "Do your homework", and you'll love your RHD (even more)!



CADA anti-Right Hand Drive Propaganda

Propaganda is a strong word, but that's the only thing I can call this.  CADA, the Canadian Automobile Dealer Association, has obvious reasons to not like right hand drive vehicles.  RHDs are great value and cut into their bottom line.  You can buy a new Skyline for.... $99000... depending on your options, or a 95 that's with some performance modifications and low mileage for $12000 or less.

The propaganda in question is this pamphlet. It outlines how these cars are unsafe and don't pass safety standards.  Of course, they have no backing for this data and it's all very one sided.  Which is why I define it as propaganda.  There are no real strong arguments here, just statements.  This is amplified by the fact that the backing is CADA, an association that is designed to make money.

I should mention that I don't know when this was published, since they don't cite a date.  If they would have cited sources for information and data, we could try to pin down approximately when it came out... but unfortunately they do no such thing.

I honestly don't know why they're so up in arms about it.  I don't think people that are interested in specialty cars such as RHDs are likely to by a car from a dealer. New or used.  They should accept the change, and maybe even get into the market! Why not! They're complaining that they're losing sales, while ignoring a new market.

Thought I'd share this, as food for thought.


edit: updated price of Nissan GT-R (aka... skyline) to CAD price off website. My estimate of $44k was apparently off by more than 100%.

Tagged as: , , 1 Comment

Right hand drive postal vehicles

Canadian RHD Postal Truck

I monitor right hand drive news via google alerts, and an interesting article keeps popping up.  Apparently rural mail carriers don't have RHDs.... I see them all over the city (and they're really really cute, as you can see [source]).  I can say, that only makes sense.  Apparently postal carriers aren't allowed to get out of the vehicle to deliver the mail.... so..... yeah... RHD makes total sense for them.  I know that the states uses RHD Jeeps for rural mail carriers (Postal Pete says so).  I know that a 'postal carrier' is a good loophole to allow any year of RHD vehicle into the states. Now, they just need to justify Skylines and the like as postal vehicles and they're golden!

The reason this piques my attention is that Canadian right hand drivers can use this as an argument if/when Canada tries to take away our cars.  If they state they're 'unsafe' our argument is that if they are unsafe for us, they are unsafe for their employees who use them on a daily basis.  Hopefully we never have to use that, but, we've got to create arguments now in case the day ever comes.